For the College Field School, the beginning of each week means a new adventure, as each Monday brings us to a new archaeological site. Today we visited not one, but three sites which included Lowry Pueblo, the Albert Porter site, and Woods Canyon.
First up, Lowry Pueblo.Lowry was first excavated by Paul Martin in 1930, and work continued there on and off for four field seasons. It is one of only three clustered great house sites including Haynie and Mitchell Springs. The workers, often made up of local farmers, were digging at least one ton of fill A DAY from the site as it was being excavated in 1930. They used a system of chutes and mining carts on tracks to move the fill the the edge of the canyon, where they would dump it. The site features many examples of the Chaco style of architecture, but we discovered it is in fact a Mesa Verda expression of the Chaco style of architecture.
Our next stop, Albert Porter, was owned by Albert Porter and donated by his family after his death. Looking over the landscape, there were great house mounds as well as the kiva impressions all over the property. Though Albert was a farmer, he made sure to move around the obvious archaeological structures on his property, in order to preserve them for later excavation and study. The Albert Porter property was actually the first Chaco site that Crow Canyon excavated. They excavated only 1% of the property in order to not disturb the site. From those excavations we have learned that the site is located in an area that contains Basketmaker III, Pueblo I, Pueblo II, and Pueblo III artifacts.
Our last site for the day was Woods Canyon. Woods Canyon is a cliff dwelling not far from the Albert Porter site. It is a classic late Pueblo III site, and displays a McElmo style of masonry, where the stones used to build are more chunky. The pueblo was once surrounded by a small wall which served to protect, and also keep water from moving the structures. The people also utilized check damns which slowed the water running near their site, providing a place to obtain water as well as protecting their structures from being destroyed.